Wow you could be the king of the geeks with this new “Hands-Free” calling device. Maybe it would have saved me from that ticket I got last month for talking on my phone in the car.
The number one tech question I am asked is still, “How do you download a youtube clip?” Well I have a new favorite and a Vimeo video grabber that has been great! The youtube grabber is simple and sweet! Just remove the “http://www.” and replace it with the word “kick” and you will be redirected to a new site where you can choose your format and download. Here is the countdown clock I used at SYMC, click the link and try the “kick” and download it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ieR706LjrQ.
The Vimeo grabber I have been using is called Clip Nabber…Check it out clipnabber.com.
If you are not familiar with Evernote, it is a clean and easy note taking software (Learn More). It is a great way to capture and organize ideas, web pages, audio, and more. It is a web app, desktop app (syncs beautifully), it is available for Mac and PC and most handheld devices. But this is not a commercial for Evernote (which is FREE). I wanted to share a few of the way I am using it that might spark ideas for you in your ministry context.
In Evernote you can create different “notebooks” to work from and store things in. I have “notebooks” with ideas, links to youtube clips I might want to use in a lesson, series ideas. I find this to be much better than having several documents on my computer (which are not synced with an online source) or a bunch of scattered documents in Google Docs. It is one location to do a mind dump, and that helps me sleep at night. (Another place to do a great mind dump is “OmniFocus” but that is a different post for another time).
One of my folders is called “CODES.” I use have tons of serial numbers for software and did not know how to keep track of them. Now they are all in one place. I guess I could use a word doc but Evernote is searchable so I can search the word “Burning Monkey Solitaire” and the note with that serial I entered will pop up. I cannot lock it so I guess I am a little exposed but no one uses my computer but me and to access it online you need my user name and password.
This is my favorite use for Evernote. Back in the day my youth ministry professor challenged us to take time and write out stories from our lives. Write down what ever we could remember…the funny, dramatic, edgy, capturing stories that have happened in our lives. So I wrote. I took a word document and started writing bullet points and then went back to fill in details. I would carve out time in my schedule to remember and write. If I would be reminded of a personal story throughout the day or while others were teaching I would jot it down and add it to this list. This Word doc with dozens of stories was hard to sift through but I would go through this list as I planned messages. Then came Evernote! Evernote allows you to “tag” notes within notebooks. So I created a notebook called “Stories” and I added each story as a note and then tagged the note according to topics that would fit in different messages. So I have one notebook with dozens of notes that are easily searchable by topic (through tags) and searchable by content (meaning words in the story).
For example, if I were teaching on dating, I click on my notebook and search “date” or “girls” or “purity” and all stories that I tagged with those words pop up. This has been a great asset for my teaching and planning.
Are you using Evernote differently? Post a comment and share any of your ideas
We are always trying to think up new games to use in our ministry. NBC has done a great thing for youth pastors! The new game show Minute to Win It (premiering this Sunday March 14, 2010) has between 60 and 70 doable games that can be used as youth ministry crowd breakers.
Check out the site Minute to Win It and look at the “Game Vault.” There are videos to show you how to play each game and written directions that you can copy and paste in a document, and a list of items required. This is a gold mine of game ideas!
Here’s an example of one of their videos:
If I had a dime for every time I heard someone in ministry say that they did not pray as much as they thought they should, I’d be doing ministry in the Caribbean somewhere or maybe a cruise minister. Permanent vacationing aside, most of us really do want to pray more. My bet is that you feel you’d do it more if you just had something like, say, a text message to jog your memory.
That is exactly what Echo Prayer Manager does: it reminds you to pray via email or SMS. After signing up for the free account, you enter your prayer requests choosing how you want to recieve the reminder (email or SMS) and how often (more, normal, less, or non-random). Then you go over to the reminders area and decide when is the best time in each day for you to be reminded to pray.
Here’s the genius thing, unless you tell it otherwise, it reminds you of a random prayer request from your list at that time! Of course you can ask it to remind you to pray for your friend at the exact moment he is getting his appendix removed, but the real genius is that once you decide when you want to remember to pray, you don’t have to also decide which prayers to pray at which moment.
There’s also a prayer journal where you can keep more detailed info on the prayers. The only thing I wish it did was have some group option to be able to use it to remind a whole prayer group and an iPhone app for adding new requests, but there’s always future updates to look forward to. Check it out at www.echoprayer.com And, let me know see any cruise ministry openings!
Last weekend was the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, and there was lots of great training. One of the speakers, Tim Schmoyer videoed his seminar on Communicating Youth Group News with Teens and Parents and dropped it on YouTube. You can watch it here (it was really good):
Jake Rutenbar made another incredible music video for this year’s Simply Youth Ministry Conference. It’s all about Youth Worker stereotypes. It’s so funny, and so true.
Over at SimplyYouthMinistry.com we are having an 80′s won’t die sale. 80 products and you pay 80% (that’s 20% off, get it?). There’s some great stuff. In honor of celebrating the decade of Big Hair we made this video.
WARNING: This video contains a side of Andy Brazelton you may wish you never saw.
It’s my experience that I can often tell when a site is going to spam me. However, there are those times when I need something, and the site requires me to fork over my email and “verify” it forcing me into the conundrum of deciding between and endless barrage of spam and whatever I think I “need” from the site. This is where Mailinator comes in. You simply give anything @mailinator.com … anything you choose… and Mailinator will have your email waiting for you when you surf over to their website:mailinator.com. Once you check your email you can have it deleted or just leave it and Mailinator will automatically delete the email in a couple of hours.
Of course there are other applications for this like giving a “persistent” teenager the wrong address or giving it to a vendor at a conference to obtain a free glowing pencil topper, but we do not endorse or participate in anything like that here. It’s just a quick tip. And it is FREE!
I’m at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this weekend, and we’ve setup some opportunities for you to watch even if you weren’t able to come. I setup the site SYMCLive.com to host live video from the event. You can check out the schedule on the page.
And if you are here at the event come say “hi”, I’d love to meet you. You can find me in the Media Room (when I’m not shooting for the live events)